By: Athena Abadilla

Student Ambassador, Athena Abadilla, shares her short playlist of podcasts and songs from people — most of whom are TC/Columbia affiliated — that have positively impacted her journey in higher education.


Drawing From the Well, Episode 6: How Does Teacher Identity Affect Youth Wellness?

This “community-responsive education” podcast by The Youth Wellness Movement explores the health of young people through the lens of education. One of the key voices featured in this episode’s conversation is TC Counseling Psychology alum,  Dr. Kevin Nadal. I first met Dr. Nadal (or more familiarly, Kuya Kevin) at a Filipino American History Month event when I was a young Barnard College undergrad, long before I thought of pursuing a master’s degree at Teachers College. His critically grounded approach to pedagogy and fearless Filipinality have consistently inspired me. 

Malted Podcast, Episode 1: Love in the Time of COVID (October 16, 2020)

Malted is a student-run podcast project from our very own TC Arts and Humanities department! This episode features Associate Professor of English Education Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz and doctoral candidate Shamari Reid. Consistent with my positive experience engaging in conversations with Dr. Sealey-Ruiz (a fellow Libra icon who I am so grateful to have met during my time at TC), this episode is so profoundly beautiful and invaluable in informing my growth during these trying times.

Six in the City, Episode 13: Adult Friendships (September 12, 2021)

My final podcast recommendation is a shoutout to one of my favorite Higher and Post-Secondary Education (HPSE) program classmates, cohort-members, and friends: Robin Kim. She and her long-term friends started a podcast to stay connected and talk about a wide variety of topics. This episode resonates with me as a young adult navigating how to form and maintain meaningful relationships through big life changes! Stay tuned — maybe there might be a new podcast on the horizon hosted by me and my HPSE–work bestie Mina Mizutani!


Hues. by Mamadou: This is the newest track and creative piece that this amazing NYC-raised artist released on streaming platforms. I met Mamadou, a fellow Columbia University graduate, in one of my favorite undergrad Education classes, and I have followed his journey through music, poetry, and the arts since.

Lost in New York by Scorpio Boyfriend: This on-repeat song is from my favorite rising artist. Fun fact: He’s also one of my student employees. Definitely an approved office bop!

White Academia by Lianah Sta. Ana: This song is near and dear to me — as is the artist, Lianah Sta. Ana, who I’ve become friends with through Columbia University’s Liga Filipina club. She bridges her love for music and songwriting and her reflections while being a student in Ethnicity and Race studies. So relatable. So talented.

Give these a listen and support the creators! 

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